New Minimum Wage Payment begins in Ondo and Niger state

The Ondo government and the organised labour within the state yesterday signed an agreement on the payment of N30, 000 new wage effective from January.

Also, the Niger government revealed its decide to begin the payment of the wage at the top of the month, though only public servants between Grade Level 1 and 6 will benefit.

The Head of Service, Ondo State, Mr Dare Aragbaye and Niger State Governor, Mr. Sani Bello revealed the plans to pay the new wage at separate fora yesterday.

In Ondo State, Aragbaye signed the agreement on the wage on behalf of the govt while Chairman, Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Mr. Ilesanmi Oyesanmi; Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Sunday Adeleye-Oluwole and Chairman, union Congress (TUC), Helen Odofin signed for the workers.

Under the agreement, the public servants between Grade Level One and Six would enjoy the N30,000 new minimum wage while workers on Grade Level 7 to 17 will enjoy consequential adjustment on their salaries.

According to the pact, the payment would kick off from January 1. The agreement was signed after over eight negotiation meetings involving the parties.

After signing the agreement, Aragbaye observed that the negotiations were carried out with sincerity and in the interest of the generality of workers in the state.

In Niger State, Bello said the state government would only pay the new minimum wage to junior workers because of the heavy wage bill the government is confronted with while receiving the chairmen of the 25 local government councils early in the month.

At the meeting, the governor noted that about 80% of the entire income of the state is monthly committed to the payment of salaries and allowances of public servants within the state.

After the meeting, , Mr. Yakubu Garba NLC Chairman, Niger State confirmed the payment, though observed that everything wasn’t alright yet.

Garba said the organised labour rejected N150, 000 the government gave the labour leaders, urging the government to use it to pay the consequential adjustments for senior workers because it had been not the responsibility of the organised labour to pay salaries”

He told the government to pay the consequential adjustment to avoid show down with workers. Our ultimatum to government still stands. If the wage isn’t paid to all or any category of staff, we’ll haven’t any alternative to call workers out on strike.”

In the meantime, the meetings between the govt and therefore the labour persisted Thursday and Saturday were deadlocked. The Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso presided over the meetings, where the govt put all its cards on the table.

In its presentation, the govt observed that workers within the health and medical sectors were already earning above the wage and its consequential adjustments.

The government observed that what the doctors “are earning was above what many nations that had started implementing the new wage are paying.”

How to resolve this logjam forced the meeting to adjourn to reconvene latest on Monday. The position of the organised labour are going to be made known then.